Spike Lee and Turner Classic Movies host, Robert Osborne, discuss “To Kill a Mockingbird”

March 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Spike Lee and Turner Classic Movies host, Robert Osborne, held a free screening of the 1962 movie starring, Gregory Peck, based on the American novel by Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City.

TCM is celebrating its third annual Classic Film Festival set to begin this upcoming April 12-15th in Hollywood, California.

You may be thinking, classic movies have been around for decades, so what exactly is the mission of the TCM Classic Film Festival?

“To have a place where movie lovers from around the world can gather to experience the original movies as they were meant to be seen: on the big screen, in some of the world’s most iconic venues, for example, Grauman’s Chinese and Egyptian Theaters, with the people who made them.”

Some of the guests announced to attend this years festival include the following:

Serge Bromberg – Producer and Preservationist
“Baby Peggy” Diana Serra Cary – Actress
Peggy Cummins – Actress
Robert Evans – Producer
Rhonda Fleming – Actress
Joel Grey – Actor
Marsha Hunt – Actress
Vera Iwerebor – Filmmaker
Liza Minnelli – Singer and Actress
Monte Alto Motion Picture Orchestra – Musicians
Eddie Muller – Founder of the Film Noir Foundation
Debbie Reynolds – Actress

TCM Classic Film Festival

Watch the discussion between controversial filmmaker and NYU film professor, Spike Lee, TCM host, Robert Osborne, and a live audience, as they discuss the 1962 film, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” based on the American classic novel by Harper Lee, published in 1960. Set in the deep South during the Great Depression, the Alabama native, Harper Lee, believed an author “should write about what s/he knows and write truthful.”

“The story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional “tired old town” of Maycomb, Alabama. It focuses on six-year-old Scout Finch, who lives with her older brother Jem and their widowed father Atticus, a middle-aged lawyer. Jem and Scout befriend a boy named Dill who visits Maycomb to stay with his aunt each summer. The three children are terrified of, and fascinated by, their neighbor, the reclusive “Boo” Radley. The adults of Maycomb are hesitant to talk about Boo and, for many years, few have seen him. The children feed each other’s imagination with rumors about his appearance and reasons for remaining hidden, and they fantasize about how to get him out of his house. Following two summers of friendship with Dill, Scout and Jem find that someone is leaving them small gifts in a tree outside the Radley place. Several times, the mysterious Boo makes gestures of affection to the children, but, to their disappointment, never appears in person.

Atticus is appointed by the court to defend Tom Robinson, a black man who has been accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. Although many of Maycomb’s citizens disapprove, Atticus agrees to defend Tom to the best of his ability. Other children taunt Jem and Scout for Atticus’ actions, calling him a “nigger-lover”. Scout is tempted to stand up for her father’s honor by fighting, even though he has told her not to. For his part, Atticus faces a group of men intent on lynching Tom. This danger is averted when Scout, Jem, and Dill shame the mob into dispersing by forcing them to view the situation from Atticus’ and Tom’s points of view.

Because Atticus does not want them to be present at Tom Robinson’s trial, Scout, Jem, and Dill watch in secret from the colored balcony. Atticus establishes that the accusers—Mayella and her father, Bob Ewell, the town drunk—are lying. It also becomes clear that the friendless Mayella was making sexual advances towards Tom and her father caught her and beat her badly. Despite significant evidence of Tom’s innocence, the jury convicts him. Jem’s faith in justice is badly shaken, as is Atticus’, when a hopeless Tom is shot and killed while trying to escape from prison.

Humiliated by the trial, Bob Ewell vows revenge. He spits in Atticus’ face on the street, tries to break into the presiding judge’s house, and menaces Tom Robinson’s widow. Finally, he attacks the defenseless Jem and Scout as they walk home on a dark night from the school Halloween pageant. Jem’s arm is broken in the struggle, but amid the confusion, someone comes to the children’s rescue. The mysterious man carries Jem home, where Scout realizes that he is Boo Radley.

Maycomb’s sheriff arrives and discovers that Bob Ewell has been killed in the struggle. The sheriff argues with Atticus about the prudence and ethics of holding Jem or Boo responsible. Atticus eventually accepts the sheriff’s story that Ewell simply fell on his own knife. Boo asks Scout to walk him home, and after she says goodbye to him at his front door, he disappears again. While standing on the Radley porch, Scout imagines life from Boo’s perspective and regrets that they never repaid him for the gifts he had given them.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Kill_a_Mockingbird

Article by Sharon Abella


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